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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

May 7, 2014, 6:08 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

Investors are hoping for a better day today on Wall Street. Yesterday, the S&P 500 dropped 16.94 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,867.72. The Nasdaq composite dropped 57.30 points, or 1.4 percent, to 4,080.76. And the Dow Jones industrial average fell 129.53 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,401.02.

  • Jitters over the valuations of technology companies are pulling stock prices lower from Tokyo to London. Japan's Nikkei sank 2.9 percent today, while South Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both lost about 1 percent. European shares have also gotten off to lackluster start. Oil prices are up nearly a dollar after benchmark U.S. crude closed at $99.50 yesterday.
  • The Institute for Supply Management says businesses of all types expect increases in revenue, capital expenditures, employment and production capacity this year. ISM's latest economic forecast finds optimism in both the manufacturing and service sectors, with manufacturing industries revenue to rise more 5.3 percent and employment by 1.5 percent. Service sector businesses are expecting less revenue growth but about the same employment growth.
  • It's a light day for economic reports. The Labor Department releases first-quarter productivity data this morning, while the Federal Reserve releases consumer credit data for March this afternoon. Duke Energy reports quarterly financial results before the market opens this morning, as does Mondelez, while 21st Century Fox and Tesla report their results after the market closes.
  • Whole Foods has cut its profit outlook for a third time. Co-founder and co-CEO John Mackey says Whole Foods had the organic and natural foods market to itself for a longtime, but he's telling investors "the reality is that we don't anymore."  Mackey says he still sees room for growth. Whole Foods has been trying to keep its prices down, in part by pushing its more affordable store brands to appeal to more customers. Whole Food continues to turn a profit and revenues are rising, but it's latest financial results fell short of expectations.


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